Application Process and Multiple Stories (By Tamara Bunnell, The Northwest School)

Designed by Tamara Bunnell, Teacher, The Northwest School in Seattle, WA

Context: These activities will both be part of a longer unit of study around the historical experiences, contributions, and treatment of Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest. Preceding and between these activities will be lessons on the pre-European invasion culture and history of the region, PNW treaties, creation of the reservation system, Native American stereotypes and their origins, the general history, structure, and impact of the Indian Boarding Schools, contemporary related issues, and various readings, including The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, which explores aspects of Native American education among other things.

For this first lesson, students will learn about the application system to Carlisle. I will introduce the Carlisle website and archive to the whole class and we will zoom in on students with local ties, ending with the file of John Bastian of the Puyallup tribe, who entered Carlisle in 1909. We will read the Indorsement from Application for Enrollment in a Nonreservation School text together, then students will work on their own or in pairs to complete the accompanying questions. After students have completed the assignment, we will discuss their answers together, weaving in additional factual information about the intent and impact of the schools.